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Caring for a Three Legged Dog or Cat

Tripawds is the place to learn how to care for a three legged dog or cat, with answers about dog leg amputation, and cat amputation recovery from many years of member experiences.
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Frisbee, to play or not to play...
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Forum Posts: 286
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27 June 2014 - 8:13 pm
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Domino being a 1 year old Australian Shepherd is active... very active! Which is a first for us. So we're trying to find outlets for him that are safe and easy on him. He's a front leg amputee and is almost 7 weeks out from surgery. We've been playing with a tennis ball gun because it requires very little jumping and impact on his remaining front leg. But he seems to be getting a little bored with it. Out of curiosity I bought him a frisbee last night just to see if he liked it. He's in love.... It's like he was made to play frisbee! But, with it being so high impact is it safe to do in moderation? Do any of your tripawds play? I'm wondering if it would be ok if I only did low throws do he doesn't have to get much air? Any of your thoughts would be appreciated! Thanks so much

Cassie and Frisbee loving Domino

“A dog is the only thing on earth that loves you more than he loves himself.”
Domino had his left front leg amputate on May 13th 2014 after being hit by a car. He's now living a happy healthy life on three legs :)

Virginia
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28 June 2014 - 5:36 am
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My Tanner is a rear leg tripawd, and he plays relentlessly. He chases balls, frisbees, wrestles with dogs at the dog park...he does it all. If he didn't we'd all be in trouble b/c he's like the energizer bunny. I know front leg tripawds can get worn out a little faster b/c they're working harder, but I say let him play! Keeping it low to the ground so he doesn't have to jump up high is probably a safe bet, you don't want him to have a bad landing from jumping up too high. He's still just a pup too, and trying to hold them back is hard especially when they are so full of energy! I say if he loves it, and you can keep it pretty safe, let him have at it! 

Mom to Tripawd Angels Jake (2001-2014) and Rosco (2012-2015) and Tripawd Tanner. “Whatever happens tomorrow, we had today; and I'll always remember it”  

      

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28 June 2014 - 8:04 am
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That's such a tough call. I'm pretty sure a rehab vet would say no, don't do it and that is a great question for one. Our personal feeling is that we don't allow Wyatt Ray to play it. Here's why:

As we mention in the Tripawds e-books , when Jerry lost his leg, we didn't know anything about life on three legs, we just wanted him to live life and enjoy the things he always did knowing he was on borrowed time. So we continued playing frisbee, one of his favorite games. We didn't like to see him jump so high on one front leg, we knew it couldn't be that good for him, so we did our best to keep tossing it low, and played with a soft frisbee, not a hard one, which tended to catch more air. However, it wasn't long before there was just one moment when he landed wrong and he did something to his rear knee. He hobbled and was in horrible pain and we felt awful. His vet suspected an ACL tear.  It took acupuncture to help the pain go away and eventually he got better, but we learned our lesson: those three legs are just too precious t us to take chances like that.

A recent Colorado State vet study found that statistically, whether a dog is a front or rear leg amp, odds are they could have some type of chronic pain and/or injury to their rear limb as time progresses. Maybe we're paranoid but after hearing that, we've decided that we'll do all we can to avoid future incidents, including banning high impact activities like that.

Now, there are dogs like Kess the Border Collie and Matey the frisbee dog who still play Frisbee, catch air and do all kinds of crazy stuff. They're having a ball and at some point I'd love to hear how their people practice injury prevention techniques, just haven't had a chance to do that. Seeing them play is a joy!

So, what do you do when you have a young, active Tripawd? One thing we've learned from rehab vets is that tiring a dog's mind more than his body is more rewarding for the dog and the human, now and later. Games like K9 Nosework and scent games, obedience games and the like really get a dog's brain going and in the long run do much more for the dog as age sets in; as s/he ages and their body isn't physically capable of crazy athletics, being able to stimulate their brain helps keep them mentally alert and keep dementia away. By training him in brain games now, you'll be so glad you did when he's an old dog.

Again, this is just our gut feeling. We are not rehab vets so this is something I would love to address with one soon!

It's better to hop on three legs than to limp on four.™
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Virginia




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28 June 2014 - 11:17 am
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Glad to hear Domino is doing so well! Great update!

Would love to see some vide of Domino playing and running! So glad he's happy and so well loved!

Have you tried swimmin g with Domino and throwing a ball or stick,in the water?

Sally and Happy Hannah

Happy Hannah had a glorious additional bonus time of over one yr & two months after amp for osteo! She made me laugh everyday! Joined April's Angels after send off meal of steak, ice cream, M&Ms & deer poop!

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28 June 2014 - 12:55 pm
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benny55 said
Glad to hear Domino is doing so well! Great update!

Would love to see some vide of Domino playing and running! So glad he's happy and so well loved!

Have you tried swimmin g with Domino and throwing a ball or stick,in the water?

Sally and Happy Hannah

We haven't tried it yet. We may actually go look at life jackets today. There aren't too many places near us unfortunately that allow dogs to swim. I've been trying upload some new videos to YouTube, but they haven't been working :(

“A dog is the only thing on earth that loves you more than he loves himself.”
Domino had his left front leg amputate on May 13th 2014 after being hit by a car. He's now living a happy healthy life on three legs :)

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